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This is one guide that will take your SCCM skills and environment to a whole new level ! This would give you good insight into your infra and also let you understand how the enterprise class Microsoft Suite is behaving under the hood. The guide has also been implemented in several real world production environments and has brought the server systems availability & performance up by 5-10 %.

This guide will also get your environment standardized, organized – get you insights into health on a perspective no tool or query can. Additionally it can be used for expansion / consolidation / migration / upgrades and Configuration Drifts. The logic can also be transmuted to any application which would have heavy configuration and optimization requirements.

PROBLEM STATEMENT

SCCM/ConfigMgr Infrastructure covers the entire globe, there are multiple servers catering each location and they have numerous SCCM installations and their configurations have drifted over the time.

The SCCM configurations are currently too varied and we are not receiving the optimum performance from the servers and also facing issues day to day.

4 areas that are currently drifting or problematic ::

Backup Schedules / Discovery / Maintenance Tasks / Collection (Refresh Schedules & Runtime)

  1. Overlapping actions : At present the SCCM backup will run – discovery also runs at same time along with some maintenance tasks.
  2. Too aggressive : Certain actions or schedules are too aggressive and hamper the server performance.
  3. Drift : Configurations have drifted over time and there is no monitoring or what is the benchmark – to notice the deviation from desired configuration.
  4. Unmanaged Items : There are settings that must have been created for a test – but have been forgotten – collection refresh schedules are high on them.
  5. Reporting : The issues with reporting, AppPortal or Integrated App Portals, weekend deployments are all culminating from poor SCCM scavenging process and overlapping aggressive activities.

Document all your findings in the Holistic Standardization and Fine Tuning.

BEFORE


SCCM Backup Schedules – Current

finetuning1


SCCM Discovery – Current

finetuning2.png


SCCM Maintenance Tasks – Current

finetuning3.png


SCCM Collection Configuration – Current

Use the Powershell scripts attached to find the expensive and lengthy collection refresh cycles.

finetuning4

From the above captures its obvious there is a configuration drift and non-standard modifications which have been made – maybe even for temporary periods – but get forgotten over time. One classic example is application/OS deployments – where ConfigMgr can be ‘tuned up’ to deliver and deploy faster – but this is not required in day to day operations.


Activities Overlap – Current

finetuning5.png


RECOMMENDATION

  1. Run Performance Counters to capture the current server performance – get a baseline of peak and off hours behavior.
  2. Stagger the activities on the server, have them run spaced out and have least overlaps – this will guarantee high server availability.
  3. Space out the backup schedules – discoveries and maintenance tasks.
  4. Have discoveries run on both Central and Primaries.
  5. Change source of deletion – disable on the primaries and only delete on the central = giving single source for deletion giving better reporting and rid of the duplicate deletion action which was leading to inconsistent data.
  6. Post changes run capture new set of Performance Counters to capture the new server performance – this would the delta of improvement and new baseline.

TIMELINE

2-3 months, have four phased changes –

1.Backup [Configuration to be set in 1 go]

2.Discovery [2 Pilot – Rest Production]

3.Maintenance Tasks [Pilot on 2 Primaries and rest in Production]

4.Collections [Pilot on 2 Primaries and rest in Production]

OUTCOME

The standardization sheet would be the template of reference for any deviation from desired configuration.

finetuning6.png

AFTER

SCCM Backup Schedules – Standardized

finetuning7.png


SCCM Discovery – Standardized

finetuning8.png


SCCM Maintenance Tasks – Standardized

finetuning9.png


SCCM Collection Configuration – Standardized

finetunin10.png


Activities Spread Out

finetunin11.png


POST REMEDIATION

4 areas that get corrected ::

Backup Schedules / Discovery / Maintenance Tasks / Collection (Refresh Schedules & Runtime)

  1. Spaced out actions : Actions on the servers will be given enough room for its runtime.
  2. Less strain on server : This activity is aiming to lower the process/disk utilization and give a higher server availability and faster response.
  3. Baselines : Configurations have drifted over time and there is no monitoring or what is the benchmark – to notice the deviation from desired configuration
  4. Control : There are settings that must have been created for a test – but have been forgotten – collection refresh schedules are high on them.
  5. Better Reporting : The issues with reporting, App Portal, weekend deployments are all culminating from poor SCCM scavenging process and overlapping aggressive activities.

The configuration would be the baseline for any new server – this additionally would also assist in fine tuning the migrated SCCM 2012 environment

TIMELINE

Future migration and baseline maintenance, quarterly re-run of the above checks.

OUTCOME

Ease of configuration for the new SCCM environment and upgrades.

BEYOND

SCCM Infra for Future

finetunin12.png


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Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. This is great Sanman . Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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